10 Jun 2008

The new (and slightly improved) iPhone 3G

First, I’ll make my stance on the phone, and then I’ll get into details. The iPhone, is currently (by far) the best mobile phone available.

All attempts made by HTC, Sony Ericsson, Samsung etc.. using Windows Mobile are a pathetic attempt at competing. BlackBerry’s are closer, but also need an overhaul really soon to maintain their business users.

And, last of all, Palm. I’ll never know how a company went from complete market dominance, to worthless in just a few short years. Basically, some VP at Palm decided that the Palm OS was already perfect, and didn’t need to be improved, or substantially changed (much the way Steve Ballmer talks about Vista). Seriously, did you know that the Palm OS still can’t properly multi task ?? Even Palm has given up on itself, offering hardware that runs Windows Mobile. Funny thing is, the CEO still talks trash, claiming they are working on something. Trust me, they’re dead. Their only hope is getting out a Linux based OS soon, or embracing Android.

Blackberry’s first attempt at going touch screen could also be risky.

It may well be a decent phone, but remember, since BB is behind, and is only really making this phone to lure people in away from the iPhone. Also remember, you’ll be using a rev 1 BB product, vs a rev 2 Apple product. Likely, there will be issues with their first attempt at a touchscreen phone.

This is the problem I have with everyone (except Google) that tries to compete with Apple and the iPod/iPhone:

They always (stupidly) compete with the current model Apple is shipping. So, they end up matching Apple (sort of), until 3 weeks later, when Apple (who actually thinks ahead) releases something much better. You have to partly feel sorry for the company releasing the ‘iPhone killer’ who, (I’m thinking of you, Sprint, with the Samsung Instinct) thinks a re-hash with an iPhone look is enough.

Basically, Apple started creating a Phone from scratch (though obviously they used a lot of OS X). The benefit of this? There are no ridiculous ideas there. Like stuff that used to be cool years ago, but now isn’t. No stupid stylus. No stupid decisions that were made due to lack of hardware years ago. Basically I’m talking about Windows Mobile. It’s a joke. Windows Mobile 6 doesn’t even have threaded messages. People had to use hacked programs to do it.

Microsoft actually, due to the iPhone, delayed Windows Mobile 7 (yet again) to release WM 6.1 (with basically no new features except threaded messages)

For those who don’t know the history of WM (Windows Mobile), it’s based on Windows CE (for embedded systems, or, ‘light’ systems, like phones)

WM5 was unsurprisingly based on Windows CE 5. WM 6 was, obviously, supposed to be based in WinCE6 (which was supposed to include a vastly improved kernel). But, what did Microsoft end up doing? They decided that they’d re-release WM5 with a different background (and more memory leaks) and title it WM6. This would have probably been fine, as there were few other options as far as ‘smartphones’ go. The problem? Apple released the iPhone, which absolutely trounced on Windows Mobile. The bigger problem? Microsoft had been sitting on its bum, and it will take them until mid 2009 to release WM7. Guess what the biggest problem of all is? Well, not only has Apple had a superior product for 2 years, but Microsoft, in all its arrogance, is probably targeting the original iPhone OS with WM7. I bet they release WM7, and arrogantly proclaim it’s better than the iPhone. Obviously, Apple won’t be sitting still, and will have the iPhone 3 by then, which will just maintain its lead.

Sure, it looks pretty good, but it’s over a year away. By then, I doubt anyone will care.

Why is it that so many companies do this. Microsoft did it with the Zune. Sandisk did it with their MP3 line. They target the current iPod, and never seem to look forward. Instead they try to match Apple.

If you’re the one copying, you’ll always be one step behind.

This isn’t actually what I was planning on writing about. I just wanted to make it clear that the iPhone is truly fantastic.

My problem doesn’t lie so much with the iPhone, as it does with Apple. They create some fantastic products, but why on earth do they have to by so arrogant?

Also, why do they have to lie?

Why do people just believe their lies?

To put in focus. Steve jobs at the recent Developer’s Conference stated that he wanted to lower the price of the iPhone so that everyone could buy it. He announced that the 8GB iPhone would be $199. This seems fantastic right? But is it really a reduced price?




Steve is lying to you! Don’t believe him.

AT&T is increasing the price of the minimum rate plan.

Now, it’s:

$40 for 450 minutes

$30 for unlimited data (vs $20, with an included 200 texts), now with no included texts

Honestly, no matter how good the iPhone is, is it worth $1000/year.

The funniest part is, people will jump at the ‘now discounted’ iPhone, and unknowingly pay more.

Luckily for me, I won’t be paying those rip off prices, unless of course Android ends up sucking, which somehow I doubt. Android is Google’s answer to the iPhone. It’s going to be brilliant. The only potential downside, is that they’re not in charge of making any hardware. They’re giving the OS away for free, so Handset makers can include it on any device they like, for free. This is good, as it will enable a large number of different Android devices to come to market. All at different price points, different sizes etc.. But this will result in fragmentation. Will AndroidOS on Samsung devices be slightly different than AndroidOS on Motorola?

I’m a little worried that they won’t have the hardware to match Apple. My best bet is the HTC Dream (likely the first Android phone to get released).

The reason Android will be a success is the same reason the iPhone is a success. They built it from scratch with a modern view of how a phone should work. It’s looking like Android phones may not get to market until late this year. Rest assured I’ll get one the second they’re available for Sprint.

Here’s the phone Google has been using to Demo around. It’s likely that this is a prototype of the HTC Dream, though no one knows for sure.

The moral of the story?

Thank goodness Apple and Google are around. Until they recently started doing some amazing things, no one budged.

If Google hadn’t done Gmail, we’d all have 2MB inboxes. But why? Microsoft only releases a good product when they’re forced to. Not because they can, or because they want to.

Luckily, the iPhone forced stuff, just as the iPod has, and just as Google will do with Android.